Just because men shave doesn’t mean they like doing so, or that they care enough about the experience to continually look to improve it. This presented a challenge for Gillette, which needed to persuade users of its Mach 3 razor to trade up to its new Fusion ProGlide with New Flexball.
To interest men in its newest shaving innovation—and to encourage them to buy the razor at retail chain Walgreens—Gillette turned to Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett Chicago. The agency tied the act of shaving with something many men care much more about: football. And in the Chicago area, one of Gillette’s top urban markets, football is synonymous with the Chicago Bears.
That’s how Gillette promised to tackle the facial hair of popular Bears cornerback and 2013 NFL Man of the Year, Charles “Peanut” Tillman, at a Chicago Walgreens on June 14, 2014. Fans could get photos with and autographs from Tillman, and Gillette and Walgreens would donate $50,000 to the charity Tillman had founded, Cornerstone Foundation.
In the days leading up to the shave, Gillette and Walgreens asked on Facebook and Twitter, “Can you shave a bear?” to get the conversational ball rolling. A pair of videos—the first featuring a man in a bear suit being chased through Chicago by a razor-wielding barber, the second revealing that the man in the costume was Tillman—announced the specifics of the event, and wild postings throughout the city added to the excitement.
The campaign not only drew a crowd to that particular Walgreens on June 14—the queue wrapped well around the corner long before the store was scheduled to open—but it also generated 2 million impressions. The local Walgreens sold 96 of the razors that day, far above the daily average of a half-dozen.